published Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

23 officers' names added to beating lawsuit against Chattanooga, Erlanger

  • Surveillance video shows savage beating by Chattanooga police
    Surveillance video from the Salvation Army on McCallie Avenue shows two Chattanooga police officers using excessive force on an inmate. Adam Tatum, 37, suffered six fractures to his right leg and two fractures to his left leg, including a compound fracture, when police took him into custody after a disorder.

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As the $50 million federal police beating lawsuit against Chattanooga, Erlanger hospital and some of the city's police officers moves through the court, more names are being added to the list of defendants.

The attorney for plaintiff Adam Tatum this week added 23 police officers' names to his court filings.

Robin Flores said many of the new names are of officers whom he alleges did nothing to stop the June 14, 2012, beating in a federal halfway house that broke Tatum's legs.

"When we first filed we didn't know the identities of those officers," he said Wednesday.

Flores said he has cited multiple incidents that show the Chattanooga Police Department does not aggressively pursue accusations against its own officers.

"When you have the fox guarding the henhouse, everything looks fine," he said.

It is the policy of Erlanger, Chattanooga and its police department not to comment on pending litigation.

Some of the officers listed were at the scene, or gathered evidence or worked crowd control outside the building.

"The rest who just stood around and watched and did nothing are just as culpable as the ones who did the beating," Flores said.

The following police officers' names were added to the lawsuit: Matthew Robertson, Latoya Tate-Olk, Daryl Slaughter, Douglas Rawson, Michael Joiner, Todd Clay, Curtis Roth, Lorin D. Johnston, Jeff L. Kirk, Bruce V. Elliott, Kendra Adams, John R. Monroe, Michael C. Holloway, Kevin Flanagan, Kyle D. Moses, Daniel Russell, Gary A. Williams, Blake V. Martin, Markus Manson, Brion P. Posey, Cameka Bruce, Bryan S. Churchwell and Sgt. Darrell Turner.

Former officers Sean Emmer and Adam Cooley were two of the original named defendants. They were fired in November.

Other officers listed in the original complaint included officers Mike Wenger, Joseph Neighbors and James Smith.

A Hamilton County grand jury declined to indict Emmer and Cooley on criminal charges. The pair have appealed their firings.

Emmer's and Cooley's attorneys, Bryan Hoss and Stevie Phillips, have previously stated that the officers responded to a call from the federal halfway house on June 14, 2012, and increased their use of force when Tatum pulled a knife during his arrest and attacked one of the officers.

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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